Meghan Markle Just Stepped Out for Her First Solo Royal Appearance: See the Photos!
The Duchess of Sussex toured a Pacific art exhibit ahead of her tour Down Under
Meghan Markle stepped out for her first solo royal engagement on Tuesday.
In her second public outing of the week, Meghan headed to the Royal Academy of Art in London’s Piccadilly to see “Oceania,” an exhibit featuring some 200 artifacts from Melanesia, Micronesia and Polynesia, a huge ocean area encompassing New Guinea, Easter Island, Hawaii and New Zealand.
She kept her long hair straight and sleek and carried a Givenchy clutch.
The outing comes exactly one year since she made her big debut alongside Prince Harry at the Invictus Games in Toronto, where they stepped out holding hands for the first time in public.
The outing comes a day after she and Harry shot some hoops, in a netball drill, alongside young coaches and sporting mentors for Coach Core.
During the evening visit to the Royal Academy, Meghan toured artwork from New Zealand, Fiji, the Kingdom of Tonga and Australia — all of which she and Harry will visit in October — and met the exhibition’s curators and artists, as well as descendants linked to the works displayed.
Meghan viewed many of the 200 artifacts on display and told New Zealand video artist Lisa Reihani “It’s so special. It’s spectacular.”
She said it was a perfect familiarization to the region she and Harry will be visiting next month. “It’s a great introduction to the sights and sounds of that part of the world,” she added.
Meghan performed a hongi — a Maori nose rubbing greeting — with several of her hosts, including New Zealand’s high commissioner Sir Jerry Mateparae and his wife Janine.
She also got a taste of the culture she will immerse herself in next month during a short performance by a Maori cultural group. Just before she left, she did another hongi with performers from Ngati Ranana, the London Maori Club, who had entertained the royal party with a waiata — or song.
Artist Sarah Hudson said: “We thought it might be a nice bit of practice before she comes to the Pacific next month and it’s nice to be able to practice something that’s customary for us. “She’s honoring our heritage.
It was not, however, Meghan’s first hongi. That came in April this year when she and Harry attended a dawn service on Anzac Day in London.
Meghan and Harry’s official visit Down Under will focus on youth leadership, environmental and conservation efforts.